Job interviews are a good way for candidates to put their best foot forward and dazzle potential employers with their professionalism, charm, and experience. Not every interview goes as planned, of course, but no one could have planned for just how terrible these job applicants are! Bad attitudes, questionable morals, and worst of all: tardiness! Hiring managers beware, there be some real weirdos out there.
We searched through Reddit to find the strangest interviewees there were and Reddit delivered. Content has been edited for clarity.
"This girl in her mid 20s came for an interview. We asked her why she wanted to work in the medical field and she started bawling her eyes out and telling us a story of her dead grandpa. She couldn’t compose herself. We had to stop the interview altogether to get her tissues. We asked how long it had been since he passed (assuming it was recent by her intense emotional reaction). Nope. He died when she was 8.
"I was interviewing at a hiring event and had a few people scheduled for interviews that completed the application online and did the pre-screening interview over the phone. For people that did not, they could get stuck there for over an hour waiting to go through the multi-step process, so I took appointment times seriously. I was the only person hiring for my department so anyone applying for anything in housekeeping had to do an interview with me, specifically.
One girl was not on time for her appointment so I started working through the other 6 or so applicants that had already been there 45 minutes. Shortly after I started one interview the girl finally showed up, about 25 minutes late. The woman signing everyone in happened to be the recruitment manager for the region and the girl that showed up late was rude to her when she wasn’t immediately sent to me to interview. The recruitment manager told her that I was with someone and would be available soon, but the girl could not BELIEVE how rude we were to 'bump' her appointment and not be available for her. She got up to complain to the recruiter several times. She called her unprofessional and disorganized, things like that. So when I got done with the interview I was in, the recruitment manager pulled me aside to warn me.
At this point, I’m just humoring the girl and planned to do a quick 3-5 minute interview so I could get to better applicants. This girl told me how incompetent the 'receptionist' was on our walk to the interview room. I asked the same basic questions I ask everyone and instead of talking herself up, she explained that every coworker she ever has is horrible and lazy. She said that as a mother of 2, she’s much more organized than other people. She insinuated that I was incompetent at my job for not being able to see her right when she walked in. I felt like I had to defend myself during her interview, it was so bad. She was a horrible person! Don’t know why she thought insulting everyone would get her a job."
"I did recruiting for small businesses and ask behavioral questions. Fastest interview ever was this tweaker.
I said, 'Everyone makes mistakes, right? Tell me about a mistake you made at a past job, what the results were and how you rectified it.'
This 20-something went on to tell me about 'getting suckered into' selling crystal to make more money, then got several coworkers hooked on it, then stared distributing large amounts to her team on the reg, then got fired and became a street walker to support her habit, then landed in jail for solicitation, possession with intent, giving false information to police and resisting arrest. She was recently released from jail and wanted to hurry the interview because she was on her way to a house party with all her old friends. I asked point blank if she was holding and she said, 'Not yet' with a wink."
"I worked at a theme park for the entertainment department. I had an interview with a guy who seemed to be absolutely fine right up to the point I was walking him through the park to leave.
He had shown an interest in the costume character side of the job and so I thought I'd show him a couple of characters before he left. As we rounded the corner to the character spot, he pulled me aside and told me he shouldn't see them. It turns out he was super turned on by costumes and wouldn't have been able to contain himself around them.
Not exactly the kind of person you want working in close proximity with characters and kids."
"I was interviewing for a junior programmer position. We were looking for someone to train for a cheaper rate.
Kid pretty fresh out of college shows up for the interview with his mom. Now, this is OK. Things happen sometimes. One time a girl's car was in the shop. One time it was over 100° outside and the dad asked if he could sit in the lobby. No big deal.
But this mom insisted on going into the interview room with her son. I asked her if she planned to show up to work with him every day for his full shift. She said no, so then I told her that I was going to have to interview him alone.
At this, she INSISTED that she go into the interview room with him and she WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.
So I responded with, 'OK, in that case, this interview is over.' The kid got the biggest grin I have ever seen at seeing his mother punished for this sort of behavior. I genuinely hope that he could finally cut the cord and make something out of his life."
"I was hiring for maid company.
Question 1: How does cleaning make you feel?
Answer: 'I mean, It’s annoying and gross but you pay good.'
Question 2: If you found a $100 bill under the bed what would you do?
Answer: 'I should say turn it in but I’m honest-I’d stick it in my pocket, they obviously didn’t need it if it’s there.'
No question 3, bye now."
"The woman I was interviewing had a pretty middle of the road resume with two years of relevant experience. I reviewed the notes for her first interview with HR which basically said that she was polite but nervous. I was conducting the technical interview.
I started off by establishing that she had done well in the first interview to try to alleviate some of her stress. She argued with me, insisting that it had not gone well. Whatever, maybe that's how she's expressing anxiety. I moved on, trying to boost confidence by handing her a softball question. I presented a simple problem that was exactly tailored to the type of work she had been doing with a platform that I was familiar with. It was the type of problem that you would almost certainly experience multiple times if you had worked with this product for a short amount of time. She said I was being rude for questioning her resume (which is the literal function of an interview) and refused to acknowledge the question.
At that point, I offered her some coffee, and stepped out to call HR, legal, and security. I assumed that she was a litigious predator looking to sue a company for discrimination, so we had security walk with her from the building as HR observed, and legal immediately took possession of my notes and audio recording. Sure enough, she sued. Her case was dismissed, she appealed, and it was dismissed again. Then, she sued me personally and her case was dismissed. Some people are just not mentally well. She was harassing me and our company on social media for part of this, but stopped when our legal team sent her a cease and desist letter."
"We interviewed a woman that went off on massive tangents every single question.
My Coworker: 'You said you had negotiation training, can you explain exactly what you received?'
Woman: 'Yes, I went to training on with my current role. We got driven to the place by the rudest taxi driver I have ever meet! He was was eating some chips with toppings on it! Like cheese and stuff! Have you ever had American Cheddar? It's to die for...'etc.
We had to constantly interrupt her to get her back on track. It was a panel of three and two of us thought it was insanely funny and had to hide our faces. It was super obvious but the lady didn't notice. One of the panel though had no time for this and was getting really angry.
During one question, the lady ended up talking about a seal that she saw on the beach and my coworker put up their hand and just said, 'For the love of God, stop.' We then concluded the interview. You would have no idea this woman totally bombed this as she was happy as Larry and chatting away.
The woman then said, 'I look forward to hearing from you.'
My coworker responded with, 'Well, you really shouldn't.'
It was easily the best/worst interview I have ever been a part of, and I think about that woman and her seal often."
"I sat in on an interview that was awkward on BOTH sides.
The woman had indicated on her application that she'd had a misdemeanor. My boss asked about it at the end of the interview and she said she'd gotten a driving under the influence charge a few years back, in college. He asked her a few follow-up questions about it: how much she'd been drinking, if she still drank, WHAT she drank. She eventually just said 'whatever' and gave us all the dirty details about how she'd just walked in on her boyfriend sleeping with her sister and how it led to her kind of losing it in a bar downtown.
Honestly, my boss was just a super nosy dude. He overhead me telling my coworker about a date once and sat beside us to ask me how it went. I spent a lot of time pretending to be interested in reading her cover letter."
"We interviewed a woman that acted like she was interviewing us the entire time.
I could see on her face that she really thought she had us under her thumb with her stupid attempt at manipulation. She was trying to convince my co-owner and I that WE needed to impress HER. She admitted she had no interest in the main components of our business, and no experience in the field what-so-ever.
At the end of the interview, she shook my hand and said, 'We will be in touch.' Who is 'we'?
She e-mailed me a week later letting me know she would be taking the position with us (as though we had offered it to her). I politely told her we were not interested, and used my business term for 'go away': 'Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.'"
"A young guy came into my pizza shop wearing a dirty t-shirt and basketball shorts asking if we were hiring, I told him to come in the next day for a screening interview. He comes in the next day wearing the same t-shirt and basketball shorts and this time he's brought a deck of playing cards with him.
I proceed through the interview and learn he's an aspiring magician, that's cool. He has something he's passionate about. At one point, he flat out asks me if once he's learned how to make pizzas if instead, he could just do magic tricks for the customers. I said no and immediately ended the interview."
"I had a guy come in for an interview wearing gym shorts, a filthy, stained Derek Jeered jersey, and skate shoes. His hair was still wet from his shower and he smelled like he emptied a bottle of Axe body spray.
I was interviewing him for a part time retail position and he literally could not answer a single question during the interview. I had to walk him through the questions and practically answer them for him. The whole time, he kept trying to change the subject to 'the orange man' (Donald Trump). By the end of the interview, he had convinced himself he got the job and was demanding to know his start date. I told him we still had others candidates to interview over the next week. He scoffed and left."
"I run gyms. The jobs we have are admittedly easy, but we still like to give people a clean place to workout in and a friendly person to speak with when you come in.
A gentleman in his 50’s comes in, 10 minutes late, hops off a motorcycle wearing beat up jeans and a shirt that was very close to Zach Galifinakis’ wolf howl shirt from The Hangover. Walks in, ignores my current front desk staff walks to the middle of the gym and asks, 'Where’s [my name]?' I had been waiting for him, so I introduced myself and we walked back to my office. The whole time he is talking about how much he used to lift and how every woman in the gyms he used to workout in would just throw themselves at him.
We sit down and I am already irritated. I ask a few normal interview questions. I tell him that I want to cover the job duties so if we hire him he knows what I expect. He gets visibly irritated but I ignore it and keep talking. He blurts out about three sentences in, 'I mean, it’s a gym right? These things practically run themselves?' I asked him to leave and he called me a millennial softie that didn’t know my butt from a hole in the ground.
"I do group interviews and after everyone introduces themselves and discusses their career goals, I ask 'What does everyone here have in common? What sets you apart?' This question lets me see into an applicant's team mentality and how they believe they'll fit into our company culture. I ask the applicants to write their answers down for us to discuss later. We do a lot of talking as a group before I ask this question, so a lot of the common answers are: We all want to work for a family-owned company, we all are interested in a legal career, we all are from [City], we all have a paralegal background. Or, I'm the only one from [City], I'm the only one who has worked in an attorneys office before, I'm the only one who has a degree in [Degree].
Overall, I'm looking for them to make observations about things that prove they A. paid attention while others were talking and B. highlight their special skill that makes them stand out from other applicants.
One time, I had a group of 5 applicants, 4 of the 5 being African American. When I asked this question and told them to write it down, the only caucasian woman looks around, surprised, and blurts out 'Well, we're all woman, but I'm the only WHITE one!'
I was MORTIFIED.
Thankfully, one of the other applicants was on her toes and stated 'You're supposed to write it down so that we don't steal each other's answers.' The other 3 applicants were shooting daggers at her with their eyes. The caucasian woman giggled and jotted it down, but I immediately knew she was not moving on to the next phase of interviews. I did, however, move forward with the applicant who spoke up. She has fantastic customer and problem resolution skills."
"I had an older gentleman interview. At the end, I explained that the background check form is sent to his email and all he has to do is go fill it out. He didn't understand this concept at all, despite me explaining it 4 times. He kept asking me where he would have to take the paper work, I said there is no paperwork, it's just a form you fill out online (like our application) and it's all done electronically. He then asked who does it, I told him the company name, and he insisted that somehow our county would need to process the information and how did he do that? I kept telling him, all you do is open the email, click the link, fill it out and click submit. Boom done... he left still confused and said he'd have someone at home explain it.
Crazy enough, we did hire this guy and when I called him to schedule his orientation, he yelled at me because the 4pm class time was too late, even though I had told him there was also a 9 am morning class the next week he could attend. He still kept yelling about how 'no one wants to do it that late, we have lives, my day's already started, I can't interrupt my day that late.' He had no concept that:
1. We hire people for 3rd shift jobs or people who already have day jobs and
2. The world does not revolve around your ideal schedule.
We were just hiring for very basic warehouse work and if you pass a background, you're pretty much automatically hired. We were in peak season and desperately needed people so we said, 'Whatever, he’s seasonal and will be gone in a month anyway.' He did apologize profusely at the end of the phone call and didn’t cause any more issues after that phone call, thank god. But I still kept my distance from him."
"The interview I did was actually a good interview, but ended proving how easy it is to misjudge.
Was interviewing for an entry level accounts clerk. We had this guy come in who was HUGELY overqualified (as in he had been a CFO of a medium sized business). However, when we talked to him, he was straight and said, 'I'm older, I'm due to retire in about 4 years and I just want something to keep my mind going until I retire.'
He had all the right attitude, so we hired him. He came in on the Monday, did his induction and all the paperwork, basic health and safety training, etc. Thing is that we were a restaurant company, and one of the company policies was that new hires had to do a few shifts in a store to get an idea of how the places run. Nothing too strenuous, it's more a case of getting an idea of how people on the ground work than anything. This guy says that he has a medical condition which can make him faint if he gets too hot. Not a massive issue, we shifted him to a different store (larger front, newer so better AC, etc), and spoke to the manager so he'd only be doing things like greeting customers, real light work, nothing in the kitchen or anything, even cut him down to 2 hours a day over four days (usually it was a full 6-8 hour shift), all of which he agreed to.
Halfway through Tuesday, the agency we'd used to hire him calls us. Apparently he called them, flipped out about how we weren't taking his medical issues seriously and how there's no way he'd work for us, etc. We called the store manager and apparently he turned up for the shift, they asked him to help set the cutlery on the tables and he flipped out. He was there less than 10 minutes.
The agency was really embarrassed about it because they'd built him up so much. They actually discounted our next hire because it made them look so bad."
"I was a manager in a grocery store. We were interviewing for our overnight manager that I would be overseeing.
He showed up and I saw that he weighed approximately 500 lbs, not that it’s bad but that job was very physical. He also had dandruff on his stomach. I could see droplets of grease in his hair. He had pasta and coffee stains on his white gym shorts that he was wearing.
His answers revolved around comparing himself to new school management (which I was) and kept saying how 'frickin great' he was. He kept circling back to how awesome his old school style was and that all new school managers should look up to him.
He did not answer his questions thoroughly and kept beating around the bush. When I concluded the interview he got up and that’s when it hit me... right in the face. I swear to Christ that guy hadn’t showered or wiped his butt in at least a week.
I showed him out, then called him a few days later with some constructive criticism. I explained that old school management had its merits (huge fan of the old school style myself) but the political landscape of business has changed a significant amount. I also told him that the turnover rate for this position was high so he could apply again when it opened up.
He called me every single day for two weeks asking me to reconsider. Apparently he has lost over 200 lbs since then."
"This one didn’t even make it to the interview table.
I was set to interview some bozo at 2:30 pm. I would usually get into work around 9:30-11:00 am. I arrived at 10 am and my coworker told me she was totally stunned that Bozo had already called at 8 am and demanded my personal mobile number so he could call/text me that he wanted to come in earlier because he had 'important crap' to do that afternoon. My coworker denied Bozo his request. Bozo then said, 'Ok, well when does he get in? I’ll just be there waiting.'my coworker accurately advised Bozo this was a BAD idea. Bozo gets angry with my coworker and threatens her: 'When I get hired as your new boss, you can kiss your job goodbye, sweetie.'
I called Bozo and promptly cancelled the interview. Bozo then got aggressive towards me.
Runner Up: Multi-color hair dude who got fired from Target for making his co-workers fell unsafe, but he 'only wanted to kill a couple of them.'
I did not hire him.
"I work for a pet products company and as such, we have dogs in the office constantly and bring our pets to work with us.
We were conducting a panel interview for a software developer position in a tiny meeting room that was the only one available. It was a bit cramped, but not terrible.
At least, it wasn’t terrible until my dog took a massive diarrhea dump in the corner that soaked into the carpet and spackled the wall. Naturally the room cleared out pretty quickly, and I spent the next twenty minutes cleaning dog poo.
Another time, we were interviewing a guy near Thanksgiving, and our company has some... interesting traditions.
So this guy... we asked him why he wants to leave his current company, and he gave an answer along the lines of, 'Well, I just don’t think they take things seriously. I want to work for a serious company that makes serious products and takes things seriously.' I’m paraphrasing a bit, but he did use the word 'serious' about five times.
Anyway, as if on cue, our CFO busts into the meeting room in a turkey costume and made everybody jump up on their chairs and gobble like a turkey, including the candidate.
It didn’t work out with that guy for some reason."
"A guy came into the building inquiring about openings. It was a medical records data entry type place, so some entry level positions usually open. They asked the guy if he had a resume. He said no. They told him to drop one off or email it in and they’d set up an interview.
The next day the guy is back. He has a sheet of paper in his hands that was clearly printed from Notepad (default font and everything). The paper is entirely blank except the top left corner which says:
'I work at century lonk.'
My brother and I joke to this day about working at century lonk."